How to Become a Medical and Health Services Manager: Keeping Care on Track

For healthcare workers with a bent for business and management savvy, becoming a medical and health services manager can be a great way to advance with the help of a master’s degree. Coming from a clinical area, experienced healthcare workers who want to move away from the clinical setting into a higher paying position outside patient care will need to plan for additional education to compete in this field, but as the healthcare sector grows, the Bureau of Labor statistics anticipates a 16% increase in the number of medical and health services management positions between 2008 and 2018, making the investment in time and tuition a strong one for candidates with the right background.

Medical and Health Services Manager Education Degree Requirements

Basic requirements for becoming a medical and health services manager is a bachelor’s degree in a health-related field and significant experience in the healthcare sector. Not only will candidates with experience better understand the problems they are likely to face, but they will also have an easier time gaining the trust of the healthcare professionals they will be managing. Education also counts for a lot, as medical managers need to combine a command of the world of care with management and business principles.

Degrees in healthcare management and administration are available at the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels through schools of public health, medicine, allied health, public administration, and business administration. As of 2008, the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education accredited 72 master’s programs in health services administration. For candidates interested in administering a clinical department, experience in the field and a relevant bachelor’s degree are often enough to secure a position.

In addition, managers in nursing and managed care facilities are required to secure appropriate state licensing, which vary by location. Health information managers can also add to bachelor’s or post baccalaureate qualifications with certification as a Registered Health Information Administrator from the American Health Information Management Association.

Becoming a Medical and Health Services Manager: Career Outlook

There are a number of career tracks available in the medical and health services management field. Clinical managers with training in a specific clinical area establish policies, manage budgets, evaluate work quality and coordinate with other managers on behalf of their departments. Health information managers take charge of the security and maintenance of medical records, making sure databases are both complete and accessible while being restricted to authorized viewers. Group practices also require managers to coordinate the workload of physicians and formulate business strategies for the practice group. Practice groups and small hospitals are also more likely to favor candidates with on-the-job experience instead of formal education, and these settings are a good way to enter the field preparatory to formal study.

Additionally, beyond academic credentials, a competitive medical manager needs to be able to balance conflicting demands from patients, physicians, hospital administration, and budgetary concerns to create effective compromises and make tough judgment calls.

In 2008, earnings ranged significantly across the field; managers of large physicians groups earned the most, with a median income of about $105,000, followed by those in general medical and surgical hospitals at $87,000. Managers in outpatient facilities, home healthcare services, and nursing care facilities had median salaries ranging from $70-75,000. If you would like to learn more about how to become a medical and health services manager, request information today from the schools listed throughout our site.